With the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo a year away, National Anti-Doping Agency Director General Navin Agarwal has said that Nada will make sure that only clean athletes represent India at the Games. He also explained that with the help of ‘target testing’, Nada will continue their efforts to clamp down the malpractices in the country.

“We want that only clean, genuine athletes represent India in Tokyo,” Agarwal was quoted as saying by Times of India. “There’s still one year to go for the Olympics and athletes will be busy competing in qualifiers and other championships. The sports federations would only prepare the final list of athletes closer to the Games.

“But, we want to carry out the pre-Games testing. We will test, at least, three-four times all those athletes who stand a fair chance to qualify for the Olympics. These athletes will include those who are part of the Target Olympic Podium scheme, Nada’s registered testing pool and those with biological passports.”

India has seen a rise in the number of doping cases in the last few years with major worry being the increase in number of players failing dope test at age-group levels. Agarwal was of of the opinion that this is because of new approach of Nada which is ‘targeted testing.’

“The percentage or rate of detection has improved because of this selective testing procedure. It’s heartening to inform that Nada caught the maximum number of dope cheats during the financial year April 2018 to March 2019, which is 187. It’s an all-time high figure,” he said.

Explaining ‘targeted testing’, Agarwal said that it is a risk assessment strategy devised by the World Anti-Doping Agency to combat doping.

“We can now plan the sample collection in a better way as to when and where an athlete has to be tested or what are his/her likelihood of taking substances during a particular trial or championship. Earlier, we used to go for random sampling, which was like mass sample collection. It also has had its impact when the number of doping incidents came down,” he said.

He also quashed reports about Nada reducing the sample collection saying they have only increased it. The Nada DG also hoped that national federations will help stop the menace of doping in India.